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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Red line crossed. Now what?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:10 AM
  • 56 Replies
1 mom liked this


Some members of Congress were told last week that the United States had evidence that Syrians were killed using the chemical sarin, according to sources familiar with the briefings.

The Senate and House intelligence committees were briefed by administration officials on the threat in Syria as recently as last week, and several sources familiar with the briefing say lawmakers were told that three people died from sarin poisoning.


These sources could not speak with attribution, because intelligence briefings are confidential and lawmakers and aides are sworn to secrecy.

(Also on POLITICO: Hagel: Chemical weapons used in Syria)

The White House publicly acknowledged Thursday that Syria used chemical weapons, leading several senators called on the Obama administration to step up its response.

“It’s pretty obvious that red line has been crossed,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters.

“The situation in Syria is unacceptable,” he added. “The president of the United States said that this would be a red line if they used chemical weapons. The president of the United States has now told us they used chemical weapons.”

McCain, who has been advocating more intervention in Syria for years, called for arming the opposition, a step that the White House has resisted thus far, establishing a safe zone and taking proactive steps to ensure that the chemical weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“It does not mean boots on the ground,” McCain said.

Senators received a briefing Thursday morning from several officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry. House lawmakers will receive the same briefing at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said called on the national community to respond to the crossing of “red lines.”

“I am very concerned that with this public acknowledgement, President [Bashar] Assad may calculate he has nothing more to lose and the likelihood he will further escalate this conflict therefore increases,” Feinstein said. “It is also important that the world understands the use of weapons of mass destruction, such as sarin, will not be countenanced, and clearly Assad must go.”


Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) stopped short of saying what steps should be taken, but agreed a line has been crossed.

“From what I’ve heard our intelligence indicated with some degree of certainty that it has been crossed,” Durbin said. “That’s up to the commander in chief, but something has to be done.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined McCain in calling for a larger response, saying that it’s important to ensure that potential chemical weapons are secured after the Assad regime falls.

“The day that Assad falls there will be as surely as I’m standing here a conflict between the majority of Syrians who want to move forward and live in peace and an element of radical jihadists and that conflict needs to be planned for and brought to an end,” Graham said. “The sooner Assad leaves, the better for the world.”

Several senators exiting the briefing without knowing that the use of chemical weapons had been publicly disclosed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, refused to comment citing the classified nature of the briefing.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who also signed the letter McCain and Graham sent the White House asking about the use of chemical weapons, opted not to comment on the contents or respond to inquires about whether the U.S. should take more action.

(PHOTOS: Chuck Hagel in Afghanistan)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, declined to comment on Syria.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said before action involving troops is taken, the president should consult with the Senate.

“This assessment is deeply troubling, and if correct, means that President Obama’s red line has certainly been crossed,” Corker said in a statement. “While more work needs to be done to fully verify this assessment — like making sure we understand the chain of custody of the evidence — it is becoming increasingly clear that we must step up our efforts.”

The key line in the letter, which McCain quoted from while reading to reporters, acknowledged the use of sarin.

“Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” the letter reads.




by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:10 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:12 AM
10 moms liked this

My guess is that Husseins WMD's have been found.

Sunshine257
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:14 AM
2 moms liked this
I don't want another war..
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:10 AM
9 moms liked this

This is one of those situations where hard talk gets called out.  I do not think we should get involved in Syria beyond political or economic sanctions.  I really don't think it is the place of the US to get involved militarily, honestly we can't go after every country and escalate whatever internal war they are having, supporting rebels and in doing so risking their lives and the lives of innocents.

Sometimes I like Mc Cain but that man is too quick on the draw.  He is assuming that the people in Syria would be better off if we came in, guns-a-blazing.  All it will do is add fuel to the fire, and then we will be stuck taking a more harsh position, in the meantime pissing off even people supporting whatever military action the US takes after innocent people are killed while we are "defending" them.  I would hope we have learned our lesson with Iraq.  Nevermind what it will do to our soldiers are they are sent to yet another far away country to get involved with an ugly, violent mess with only a vague idea of the actual goal.


cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Maybe. 

Quoting Carpy:

My guess is that Husseins WMD's have been found.



cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:12 AM
1 mom liked this

I made a similar post to this yesterday. I really do not think we need another ground war in the M.E., but we've moved in missles and troops, so it sure does seem like it's a possibility. 

I think the UN needs to be making these decisions, not the U.S. *If* there has to be action taken that involves force, it needs to come from more than just us. 

romalove
by Roma on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:58 AM
7 moms liked this


Quoting Sunshine257:

I don't want another war..

I don't want another war either.

I also don't want Syria using chemical weapons.

I also don't want us to draw a line in the sand, or a "red line", and then ignore that we drew it and then step back three paces and draw another line.

If this is true, we must have some sort of response or we look incredibly weak.

rfurlongg
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM
1 mom liked this
It seems the US is stuck between a rock a hard place. This is not a good place to be.
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DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:04 AM


I get what you are saying, and agree with most of it. But how do you get  "too quick on the draw" from this? 


Quote:

The White House publicly acknowledged Thursday that Syria used chemical weapons, leading several senators called on the Obama administration to step up its response.

“It’s pretty obvious that red line has been crossed,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters.

“The situation in Syria is unacceptable,” he added. “The president of the United States said that this would be a red line if they used chemical weapons. The president of the United States has now told us they used chemical weapons.”

McCain, who has been advocating more intervention in Syria for years, called for arming the opposition, a step that the White House has resisted thus far, establishing a safe zone and taking proactive steps to ensure that the chemical weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“It does not mean boots on the ground,” McCain said.



Quoting stacymomof2:

This is one of those situations where hard talk gets called out.  I do not think we should get involved in Syria beyond political or economic sanctions.  I really don't think it is the place of the US to get involved militarily, honestly we can't go after every country and escalate whatever internal war they are having, supporting rebels and in doing so risking their lives and the lives of innocents.

Sometimes I like Mc Cain but that man is too quick on the draw.  He is assuming that the people in Syria would be better off if we came in, guns-a-blazing.  All it will do is add fuel to the fire, and then we will be stuck taking a more harsh position, in the meantime pissing off even people supporting whatever military action the US takes after innocent people are killed while we are "defending" them.  I would hope we have learned our lesson with Iraq.  Nevermind what it will do to our soldiers are they are sent to yet another far away country to get involved with an ugly, violent mess with only a vague idea of the actual goal.




tnmomofive
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM
1 mom liked this


Exactly what I think too.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting Sunshine257:

I don't want another war..

I don't want another war either.

I also don't want Syria using chemical weapons.

I also don't want us to draw a line in the sand, or a "red line", and then ignore that we drew it and then step back three paces and draw another line.

If this is true, we must have some sort of response or we look incredibly weak.



finnbar
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM
2 moms liked this
I hope our stupid government does not actually supply arms to any faction of Syrians. They have to know that the armed side will perpetrate genocide on the other side. It's what ALWAYS happens when a big arrogant "we know whats best for you" country comes in and attempts to fix another country's problems by throwing weapons around
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